The Notley NDP have a plan to create something called Bighorn Wildland Provincial Park - a $40M proposal to turn much of the land from north of Drayton Valley, south to Sundre, west to Banff and Jasper, into a park that will be mostly off-limits to those who have used it for generations for quadding, random camping, hunting and fishing.
So this week the NDP have shut down further consultations.
In a press release, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips, said:
“I have heard stories of Albertans afraid to attend community events, Albertans berated in public, Albertans followed home, and Albertans feeling intimidated to not speak their mind or participate in this important discussion. These reports are not only deeply concerning, this behaviour is not reflective of the values we all share. I call on all of my elected colleagues to denounce the bullying and harassment being faced by Bighorn supporters.
"As we do not feel we can guarantee the public’s safety or freedom from intimidation at this time, I am very disappointed to announce that the upcoming sessions for Drayton Valley, Red Deer, Sundre and Edmonton will be cancelled. The Government of Alberta will immediately re-evaluate our engagement plans in order to ensure Albertans in the communities of Drayton Valley, Red Deer, Sundre and Edmonton can participate safely."
But those threats that caused the cancelation of the consultations didn't happen - at least according to the local police.
One person in the mainstream media, Licia Corbella of the Calgary Herald asked the RCMP about these so-called threats:
“Const. Mike Hibbs, the media relations officer for Alberta’s RCMP K Division’s southern district, said Monday that he hadn’t heard of any threats.
‘I’m not aware of anything — of any threats at all,’ said Hibbs.”
Yet Phillips told reporters she was advised by police to shut down consultations.
What police? Where? Not these police.
Today I’ll tell you the real reason the NDP shutdown public involvement in the Bighorn land use changes and how this was the outcome I expected from the very beginning.
This isn’t the first time the NDP tried to impugn rural people as violent thugs to push through a radical agenda no one wanted, but with time running out on their accidental government, hopefully it will be the last.